The Vice Group new Leeds pub 'Dough' to open this November

Jonathan Hawthorne

Jonathan Hawthorne

Head Chef 6th November 2018

The Vice Group new Leeds pub 'Dough' to open this November

The Vice Group, one of Leeds’ most notorious independents, are set to open their fifth site this November. Already consisting of Vice and Virtue, Aperitivo, Nineteen and Feed, “Dough In The City”, joins the group and pays homage to their beginnings at Dough Bistro 11 years ago.

Located below Vice and Virtue on New Briggate in Leeds’ busy northern quarter, ‘Dough’ is a modern pub, promising incredible brunches, cocktails, craft ales and a versatile and creative evening menu. Whilst Leeds has an abundance of breakfast cafes, restaurants and cocktail bars, what the City Centre lacks is a place where all of these elements come together, which is what Dough promises to deliver. A chilled, indie vibe by day and a fun, laid back dining and drinking atmosphere by night in a beautifully designed, modern setting.

The menus will be developed by some of the most talked about chefs in Leeds, including executive chef Laura MacLeod, with welcome input from the Vice Group’s other operational chefs, Luke Downing, Jono Hawthorne and Lewis Naiff. MacLeod obtained many awards and outstanding reviews when working as head chef at Dough Bistro and will certainly have Leeds foodies talking. The addition of Dough to the Vice and Virtue building brings opportunities for the two concepts, the building will become a place that everyone can enjoy at least one aspect. Hawthorne has only been with the group for a few months, but has taken their menus to new levels, and is part of the inspiration to change the concept of food at Vice and Virtue.

The concept change will see menus taking influence from all over the world and will set Vice apart from the fine dining competition in Leeds. Dough, the cool ground floor all day restaurant and bar will be perfect for an easygoing morning or a noisy night out, the sophisticated exclusive Vice cocktail lounge for a celebration or a classy evening drink and the top floor restaurant for elegant seasonal tasting menus.

The group have welcomed three of the city’s most experienced and accomplished people in the hospitality industry including General Manager, Clare Morrow, who will be looking after Dough and Vice and Virtue. Clare has worked in the industry for over a decade and has a passion for all things food and drink, which is reflected in her experience. Working at real Leeds institutions such as Smokestack, Sandanista, Mojo and The Domino Club, Clare will bring plenty of creativity and ideas to the Vice Group. Clare has spent her time in the industry promoting northern bartenders both in the UK and nationally and her career so far has seen her travel to the states on several occasions to meet with industry leaders from around the world.

“After years of working at this end of the city I have been waiting for the right opportunity to come along to put more of my own stamp on something. Luke and Laura have both demonstrated their versatility across their existing venues and the challenge to collaborate with them on these 3 concepts under one roof was too good to miss. With their background more centered in the kitchen and mine behind the bar I think we have a lot to learn from one another, and I'm incredibly excited see where our combined creativity and passion will get us.”

Alongside Morrow comes Dough Manager, Simon Tate, who has made his mark in the industry over the last 10 years and will now be overseeing the project at Dough in the City. Simon has worked all aspects of the trade, most recently as Manager at Shears Yard, where he has established a reputation for his interesting and innovative drinks. Simon states that having the opportunity to be part of something new and completely different has completely rejuvenated his own enthusiasm, and he has high hopes for the new City Centre venture.

Dough is located on the ground floor of the Vice and Virtue building, which will bring the three floors together. Tate says: “I think we are creating something that will appeal to most demographics. Great value, great quality, interesting food and drinks, whilst staying accessible for everyone. I would like to see us become almost a 'local' for residents in and around the area, and a popular spot for weary industry folk wanting somewhere to unwind after a long shift.” to which Morrow adds: “I honestly believe that there are no limits for this venue. First and foremost, I want to create somewhere that people want to come and eat and drink and stay all night- we really are offering something for everyone across the building. But with the passion and knowledge of the team we have, I hope to push the limits of what Leeds hospitality is currently offering, and ultimately be renowned for delivering consistently good service whilst constantly developing and evolving what we are offering.”

Another new addition to the team joins them from the glamorous Dakota hotel. Pete Hayes will take on the role of Manager for Vice and Virtue and will bring a great deal of knowledge and sophistication to the prohibition style cocktail lounge. Hayes has managed notorious independents Epernay and the Hedonist and promises to deliver the ultimate elite service in the first-floor lounge. “Vice and Virtue is going to be on everyone’s list when visiting Leeds, there is nowhere else in Leeds with the service, drinks and food that we are going to be providing, we’re definitely bringing something new. The reputation that Vice has is what has drawn me to the group and I’m looking forward to working with the incredible team that we’ve built, I have great confidence in the project across all three floors.” Along with a refurbishment, Vice and Virtue will have a change in concept. Head chef Luke Downing will be working closely with experienced Jono Hawthorne to bring a twist to their tasting menus. Vice will open up to more than just British cuisine, in order to test the boundaries of the fine dining scene.

Director, Downing, states “The developments in the Vice Group are the most exciting to date. We’re very fortunate to have the best team I’ve seen in Leeds working on both Dough and Vice. Vice have recently won Fine Dining Restaurant of the year at the Food Awards, along with three outstanding Oliver awards earlier in the year, so I’m keen to make sure we stay at the top of our game. Working with Jono, Laura and Lewis will bring a new dimension to our menus and they will be the best we’ve ever produced, across all sites, because we all have such different ideas and approaches. Laura and I are pleased to be opening our fifth business and putting a new spin on Vice and Virtue.”

Although changes are coming, Vice’s values remain the same, supporting local businesses to provide the finest local produce and create exquisite menus based on seasonal ingredients. The Vice bar will be an exclusive hidden gem, with an impressive array of cocktails, wines and spirits, a perfect night time hideaway. Reservations are available for Vice and Virtue; Dough bookings will be available online from the 9th November.

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